Malcolm X College to house unified nursing program

February 19, 2014 2:49:46 PM PST
The demand for nurses is high but the number of qualified applicants is now, and the city of Chicago is creating a city-wide school of nursing that will be located at Malcom X College.

Construction is well underway of the new Malcolm X College, a facility that will cost more than $250 million.

Cheryl Hyman, the chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago, joined the school's president to check on the progress.

She says when the school opens January of 2016, more than just the building will be upgraded.

"We're doing it to ensure that every single student has the opportunity to learn in a world class state of the art facility," said Chancellor Cheryl Hyman, City Colleges of Chicago.

Malcom X will be the site of the new School of Nursing, a unified, city-wide program.

Currently, three other city colleges have nursing programs. They will merge over the next two years.

The chancellor said with streamlining the program to one location, the building can be outfitted with the latest technology, like a virtual hospital.

And students are better prepared for thousands of jobs in the growing health care industry.

"Over the next decade there will be about 20,000 nursing jobs available," Hyman said. "That's about 2,000 a year. Our new facility will have the capacity of 1,100. So we could end up training half the regions work force."

"It affords students who may not have an opportunity an opportunity for employment," said Dr. Tyra Ousley, director of nursing, Malcom X College. "It allows a diverse population of students to interact with a diverse population of patients in a work environment."

The restructuring of the nursing program is part of the ongoing college to careers program that started three years ago, to better align the City Colleges of Chicago's seven campuses with industry demand.

"City Colleges wants to make sure that when a student leaves here, they have as much real world experience as possible," said Hyman.

Classes will start at the School of Nursing in the fall of 2016.

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